9 Sure Ways to Boil Water When Camping

Hey there campers and welcome to my post where we will discuss 9 sure ways to boil water when camping this year.  Camping gives us a necessary break from our city life where we can live simply without the hassle of the urban world we are accustomed to.

We are also aware though that there are still some things we need to have to enjoy our nature trips – even if they do tend to sneak over to the side of luxury.  One requirement that is usually always needed when out in the bush however is boiled water and as we don’t always have our electric kettle with us, we often need to improvise.

So with this in mind, let’s check out my 9 options for boiling water in the campground below. 

Why do we need to boil water when camping?

There are a number of reasons why we might need to get a hold of some boiled water when camping including:

  1. Sanitation purposes: Yes, you might have brought your outdoor water purifier, but certain cases would require you to fetch water from lakes or rivers. To ensure that the water you found is safe to drink, you need to boil it as this kills disease-causing microorganisms.
  2. Cooking purposes: You must also boil water to cook your favorite camping foods. Pasta and stews do well with water heated over the fire.
  3. Bathing purposes: Just because you are in the backcountry does not necessarily mean you cannot enjoy a warm bath. Knowing the different ways to boil water in the wild, a warm soak is not a luxury we should deprive ourselves of.
  4. Coffee purposes: Our caffeine rituals in the morning become enjoyable when we have boiled water nearby. And if a coffee maker is not available then those of us who are accustomed to jumpstart our day with a cup of coffee would need to know the ways of heating water when camping.

What are the different ways of boiling water when camping?

ways to boil water camping - kettle in fire

With all that in mind, let’s check out my 9 methods for boiling water when camping below:

1. Campfire

This could be the most basic way of heating water whenever we are in the wild. The upside of this way is you can do this even without electricity or other portable water heating systems.

To begin, you can start the fire, put your pot of water into the embers, and wait for it to boil. Although it may not be the quickest or most convenient option on this list, this is a time-tested, trustworthy, and efficient way to complete the task.

Pros:

  • Requires minimal materials or equipment
  • Very practical and straightforward
  • Can be used during emergencies

Cons:

  • Time-consuming method
  • Less convenient
  • Might lead to forest fire if left unchecked

2. Portable grill

Many public campgrounds and national parks have built-in grills at each campsite, which are ideal for boiling water. You can also utilize your portable camping grills if the on-site ones are unavailable.

You might use a kettle or a saucepan to boil water depending on the size of these grills and although it takes a little to heat up, they are excellent for cooking since it creates a lovely, level heat.

Pros:

  • Simple yet effective method
  • Accessible fuel source

Cons:

  • Takes time to boil the water
  • Availability of on-site grills
ways to boil water camping - kettle on gas stove

3. Bucket heater

As the name implies, a bucket heater is a device you place inside a bucket of water that you aim to warm up. It is placed in the full bucket, the temperature is set, and you wait while the water is heated. The sides of the bucket are protected from scorching by a stainless steel guard.

Bucket heaters are suitable if you aim to heat a large amount of water and perfect for having a warm bath as you cleanse yourself following a tiring day lounging around the campsite. These are also good clean water to store for later as well.

Pros:

  • Perfect for heating large quantities of water
  • Ideal for a soothing warm bath

Cons:

  • Needs electricity to operate
  • Water is warmed only, not boiled

4. Jetboil system

If you need a solution that quickly boils water, I highly recommend looking into a Jetboil cooking system which can boil water in just about 100 seconds.

However, Jetboil systems are pricey but if you camp frequently, they are a reasonable investment. To operate, you connect them to a fuel source (such as a propane canister) and use a very concentrated heat area to boil your water quickly.

Pros:

  • Fast boiling of water
  • Portable water heater
  • Perfect if you find yourself camping at a high altitude

Cons:

  • Pricey water heating system
  • Quantity of heated water is for a single person’s use only

5. Car kettle

A car kettle is another effective equipment to boil water during outdoor excursions. The product functions like an electric kettle, but it is plugged into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket. 

It may take longer to boil than a standard kettle. However, it will still be much faster than some other rudimentary methods on this list.  And if you are in an RV or caravan, it will work in the 12v cigarette ports there as well.

Pros:

  • Quick and convenient
  • No need for a fire
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons:

  • Vehicle must be nearby
  • Vehicle’s battery might get drained
ways to boil water camping - pot on gas cooker

6. Camp stove

For many outdoor enthusiasts, camping stoves are the preferred boiling water method and as with the portable grills above, water kettles or pots are placed on the stove to boil. Micro stoves that fold into tiny sizes are available, making them ideal for lightweight backpackers with limited pack space. You could also use self-contained, two-burner camping stoves the size of a briefcase if it suits your needs.

Camping stoves are straightforward to use. Connect the stove to the gas supply, turn on the gas, light it with a lighter or match and then place your pot of water on top. Depending on the amount of water, it could take 5 to 10 minutes for the water to reach boiling point.

Pros:

  • No electricity is required
  • Boiling and cooking are possible
  • Wide range of selections for your needs

Cons:

  • Water could take time to boil
  • To operate well, you need a pot, lighter, and gas canister

7. Ghillie camping kettle

With the Ghillie Kettle, you can quickly boil up to 1.5 liters of water. The kettle is made of hand-spun aluminum and can be warmed with twigs or other forest debris.

To use a Ghillie Kettle, light a small fire on the stove, set the kettle on top, and fill it with water. After a few minutes, the kettle will whistle, indicating that your water has reached boiling point.

Pros:

  • Quick boiling of water
  • Easy to carry

Cons:

  • Not as easy to use as an ordinary kettle
  • You need to light a fire

8. Electric camping kettle

An electric kettle is a quick solution for boiling water if you can access electricity at your campsite or inside your camping RVs. Most electric camping kettles are reasonably priced and only take 2 to 3 minutes to boil water.

Even better, newer electric kettles have unique settings that allow you to not only boil water but also keep water and other liquids warm, which is helpful during cold camping months.

Pros:

  • Very convenient
  • Speedy boiling of water

Cons:

  • Requires electricity

Solar heater

A solar heater is another environmentally friendly option for backcountry camping. It is an excellent, fuel-free way to warm water. The water heating bags are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for packing on remote adventures.

Simply fill the bag with water and place it in the sun to use a solar heater. Your water should be warm enough after a few hours. This equipment, however, could only be used for bathing and washing as the water will generally not boil.

Pros:

  • Easy to transport when not in use
  • Environment-friendly

Cons

  • Water is not boiled, only warmed
  • Water is for bathing and washing purposes; not advisable for drinking
ways to boil water camping - girls cooking in pot on gas cooker

Conclusion

And there they are, my 9 tips to boil your water when exploring the wonderful outdoors. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences here.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul